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ROLLING STOCK


Keeping passengers informed


Roth described a need to retain focus on reliability, and highlighted that customer information could benefi t from further improvement.


“The information on the railway is not as good as it could be so there is a big programme across all the operators to improve information. If something goes wrong, tell the people what’s going wrong and what they can expect to happen. It’s just fundamental requirements, but we are not as good as we could be.”


On the topic of information technology, SWT has since introduced wi-fi on board the Class 444s. This will benefi t both passengers and the company itself, as it can offer real-time monitoring of systems on the train.


The wi-fi will be available to passengers via a charging mechanism, probably through a type of pay-as-you-go tariff, Roth said.


He added: “The concept we are looking at would be adaptable to increase bandwidth by just adding more sim cards.”


Expanding Waterloo Looking


very simple: we have to run longer trains and more trains into Waterloo.


“That is ultimately where we want to use all that technology. Technology is not there just for the sake of it, it has to have a purpose; [for example], to use wi-fi for traffi c management and to be able to squeeze more pathways into Waterloo, use more platforms. There will be a big programme going forward but we have to get the products to the next level to cope with that.”


Later, Roth told RTM that just running more services “will not be enough to meet the demand”. He identifi ed a combination of both more and longer services as necessary and said SWT was currently working on a plan to defi ne how much longer the trains will have to be, adding: “It will take some time for us to know exactly what higher frequency we need.”


Walker told RTM that the trains must be updated in order to keep up with passengers’ expectations.


“We’ll carry on coming up with innovations to take a ten-year-old train and make it suitable for 2012. That will be a constant challenge.”


to the future, the partnership was considering what could be done to accommodate massive growth at one of the country’s busiest stations, Waterloo.


Roth said: “The train service designed for today’s volume will not be able to cope with that type of volume increase, because the trains are already really busy. The answer to that is


In terms of improving effi ciency in the industry, Walker highlighted reducing the amount of electricity and wear on the track as key costs to tackle.


i More stories like this at:


www.railtechnologymagazine.com/ rolling-stock


Below: Two of the trains on show. Inset: Christian Roth talking to the media.


He said: “If we all work together and bring in technology that benefi ts the industry, not just one part of it, then there are defi nitely more and more savings to be found.”


Building alliances


Asked how the alliance is progressing, Roth said: “Great actually! It is good to see that by working closer together, actually we will get a much faster decision making process and the right decision at the right time. It’s very encouraging and I’m quite pleased that we did that. That should give the railway and passengers a benefi t because we will be able to address problems more effi ciently.”


Walker praised the alliance for formalising a partnership approach to their objectives and suggested that it could “fi t in quite nicely” with many areas of the country, while other operators could consider a slightly less formal arrangement.


He said: “It’s building on a very fi rm foundation for people who trust each other, respect each other and want to work together for the good of the industry. They’re taking a long term view, not a short-term view.


“Wherever you are in the country, unless operators, infrastructure and rolling stock people work together, you will always end up with a sub-optimal performance. You might call it an alliance, or you might just have a contract or you might just have a normal relationship but they’ve got to work together.”


FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit www.southwesttrains.co.uk


138 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 12


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